Open for Business

The Open Shop, most certainly not open

There’s no point trying to be a morning person if bleary-eyed, grumpy, and alarmingly catatonic is the best you can manage. As I found out today, there’s also no point strolling down Rue Faubourg Sainte-Antoine on a Monday – most everything is closed.

Monday? Don’t people work on Mondays?

OK, full disclosure: I am not a morning person, but am not as nonfunctioning as described above. I was also not ‘strolling,’ but rather walking purposefully to an appointment. And by ‘everything’ I mean ‘more than to my liking.’

Still, it brings me to a point: It’s supposedly charming that most things in Paris are closed on Sundays: a true day of rest, time for family and friends. The crude call of capitalism not trumping cultural tradition, and all that.

It’s also nice for workers that they receive two days off in a row. Thus, shops open Saturday were not open today. The Sunday/Monday weekend.

In my more generous moments, I can get behind these ideas. But in practice, I’m not a big fan. After living in New York, Paris can strike me as provincial – as strange (or snooty?) as that sounds. I have enough trouble with the ‘Sunday blues’ (surprisingly less virulent now that I don’t have a job), that shuttered storefronts lead only to further depression. The cold metal door on a Monday? Just silly, really.

So should everything everywhere be available at all times?

Well, now that you ask….um, yes?

Ok, no, no. I concede: it might change the character of the city. I mean what do we really need? (Not banks surely. Not bread.)

Inconvenience as elegance. Paris has duped me again.

Societe Generale, shut to the world.

What do you think? Stores closed Sundays and Mondays – charming or inconvenient? Comment below!

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4 Responses to “Open for Business”


  1. 1 shewhoeats January 28, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    I gotta say, I spent all of last week in NYC, and it was. . . completely amazing. I ate the best Ukrainian, Middle Eastern, and Chinese food of my life, on Sundays, Mondays, and all the other days. The people were awesome, and so much kinder than I remembered from past visits. Might have had something to do with New York in post 9-11 times, might have been my increased age, confidence and worldliness. Anyway, I just can’t seem to get it out of my mind, so I wanted to share that with you.

    Nice Blog! Have you seen mine?
    http://www.shewhoeats.wordpress.com

    -Taryn

  2. 2 parisimperfect January 28, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    Taryn!

    Thank you for illustrating perfectly why NYC beats Paris.

    Ok, I will not make this into a competition, but you have highlighted some of my favorite things about the city. Yes! You *can* get amazing ethnic food anytime (and for cheap!) – try that in Paris! The people are awesome. I will never stand by anyone generalizing that people are “rude” in New York. I could go on for…oh, forever…about how much I adore NYC, but probably no one needs to hear it. I’m so glad you had a great time there. You make me homesick, but don’t feel guilty :)

    P.S. Your blog rocks, too! I’m about to comment on your latest post – spreading the ‘I miss New York’ love around.

  3. 3 Carolyn April 13, 2010 at 9:34 am

    Great post (and I’m enjoying reading your blog from its beginning … including the prior post about the pretentious questioner at Shakespeare and Co – UGH).

    In Asia as you may know everything is open 24/7 and I loooooove it — am really torn about the Sunday/Monday closures in Paris. Australia is somewhere in between. One of my Chinese colleagues, on a business trip to Sydney, couldn’t believe some central city shops closed at 6/7pm on weekdays – she was quite peeved because she had no time to shop after work! Aussies are more like ‘we have to go to the beach now’ and ‘surely you don’t want to work THAT hard’ approach vs. the Parisian ‘it’s for family time on Sunday’ or any sort of grand cultural thinking, but the outcome is the same — though it’s changing fast.

    When we’re in Paris it’s always a bit of an adjustment to remember to have FOOD on hand for Sunday …

    Now back to your posts! Cheers.

    • 4 parisimperfect April 13, 2010 at 10:19 am

      Carolyn! Wow, what dedication! Thanks for reading from the beginning. Glad you’re enjoying the posts!

      Yes, before I came to Paris I was in New York, which is called “the city that never sleeps” for a reason. Definitely an adjustment not having everything I want available all the time. I think it can be a very good thing, too. Calms the consumerist drive a bit, forces us to slow down. BUT, sometimes you just need food on a Sunday, as you say! :)


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paris (im)perfect?

Sion Dayson is paris (im)perfect. Writer, dreamer, I moved to France on – no exaggerating – a romantic whim. As you can imagine, a lot can go wrong (and very right!) with such a (non)plan. These are the (im)perfect stories that result.

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